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Ramapo in Cuba

Ramapo College in CUBA

Why Cuba?

Program options provide opportunities to gain an understanding into the historical & contemporary realities or social work environments of Cuba, and how culture is an integral component.

Nothing looks better on your resume than the unique experience of living and learning in other global contexts.

Scholarships available.

Ramapo College has been operating study abroad programs in Cuba since 2004. Currently, we are offering the following program opportunities:

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Academic Program

4 Credits, 2 weeks

The program is designed to provide students with varied disciplines, the opportunity to participate in this program. All students will enroll in LLAS 325 / INTL 325 – Cuba: Revolution and Evolution.

Course Description:

The Revolution and Evolution course in Cuba introduces students to the country’s history and culture by focusing on the themes of revolution and evolution. As an interdisciplinary program, this course seeks to expose students to how politics and aesthetics have undergone change under socialism, and how Cubans have negotiated their lives in an increasingly interdependent and unipolar world. Students will come to appreciate an historical event–a revolution–as a process that needs to take into account a changing global scenario. The historical perspective will serve to explain the evolving nature of U.S.-Cuba relations. Additionally, students will use lectures, reflection sessions, and various interactions with students, academics, professionals, and everyday Cubans to learn how the “real” Cuba compares and contrasts with representations of the island in U.S. popular culture and elsewhere.

The course will be divided between pre-travel meetings at Ramapo, two weeks in Cuba, and one post-travel activity at Ramapo. Prior to the trip, students will complete readings and film screenings that will help familiarize them with the topics and places they will encounter in-country. In Cuba, 14 days will be spent in Havana and two days in Las Terrazas / Viñales. During this time, students will complete writing assignments and take digital photographs.

Students will explore the theoretical and political implications of Cuban literature, history, and visual culture in a variety of social spaces, from art galleries and architectural tours, to museums and cultural salons.

Field Excursions

Cuba - malecon3The program will include the following field excursions, to both complement the academic course, as well as provide insights into the culture and context of Cuba:

  • Visit major sites in Havana (Casa Natal de Jose Marti, Jose Marti Memorial, Plaza de la Revolucion, Museo de la Revolucion and Granma Memorial)
  • Tour of Old Havana
  • Hear guest lectures from Cuban scholars on a variety of issues
  • Engage with Cuban artists in studio and musicians
  • Visit Regla by ferry
  • Take a salsa dance class
  • Enjoy delicious Cuban food, including ice cream from Coppelia
  • Enjoy evening concert
  • 2 day/1 night excursion to Las Terrazas/Viñales, including organic farm visit and lunch, and hike
  • Relax at a local beach


Students will reside in a centrally-located hotels. All breakfasts are included, as well as some additional meals.

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Academic Program

Cuba MSW Group

3 (graduate) Credits, 10 days

All students will enroll in MSWK 675: A Community Model for Social Work

Course Description:

This course will examine the history and evolution of social work practice in Cuba. Students will learn about the role of social workers in health care and the importance of their participation in interdisciplinary work as the foundation of a community-organizing model of social work practice. This course will require students to think critically, students will draw from their existing knowledge of social work practice in the US to integrate their understanding of how policies, political forces and culture shape the delivery of health care services including mental health and social services. This course will take place in Havana, Cuba, it will include

attending presentations and site visits to health care settings such as a polyclinic (community health center), the ministry of work, and a center for people with mental and physical disabilities among others. The experience will include cultural excursions in Havana.

Field Excursions


The program will include the following field excursions, to both complement the academic course, as well as provide insights into the culture and context of Cuba:

  • Meet with the Cuban society of Social Workers
  • Visit a Cuban polyclinic
  • Visit CIPS, a psychological and social research center
  • Visit a senior center
  • Visit the National Center for Sex Education
  • Visit a maternal-infant health care program
  • Excursions to area museums, historical sites and cultural venues in Havana.
  • Las Terrazas – Talk with representatives of a regional popular council and social workers who interact with the popular council (consejo popular). Popular councils are decision-making bodies that mediate district and municipal government. Also speak with representatives of community organizations, including leaders from a local Committee for the Defense of the Revolution and the Cuban Women’s Federation.


Students will reside in residencias (similar to a bed and breakfast), in double rooms with common space for gathering and breakfast daily.


Cuba - cars